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The Miers Paper Trail:
I've been trying to track down the writings and speeches of Harriet Miers. Miers wrote two articles for Texas Lawyer magazine (in 1992 and 2000), and she also wrote a one-page piece on multistate practice for the West Virginia Lawyer magazine in 2000. Miers also gave the commencement address at Pepperdine this past May, although I haven't found a transcript or video. I'm hearing that she has given a number of speeches within the last few years, too. If anyone knows of other materials, please let us know about it in the comment section.
Sean Sirrine (mail) (www):
Eric Mueller seems to have a law review note from 1968, but you'll have to check on the legitimacy.
10.4.2005 5:30am
Sean Sirrine (mail) (www):
Here is another document that purports to show that Miers supports the same civil rights for gays that straight citizens receive. Again, you'll have to check the veracity of the claim.
10.4.2005 5:38am
Cornellian (mail):
The document is pretty ambiguous. If you think protecting homosexuals from discrimination in employment constitutes "special privileges", then it's perfectly consistent to say that you support them having the same civil rights that straight people have while at the same time opposing any legislation that would protect gay people from discrimination.
10.4.2005 9:48am
Gunner:
Here is a "Ask the Whitehouse" online chat that Miers hosted.
10.4.2005 9:51am
DC Law:
She gave a speech to the Federalist Society in DC not too long ago. Ironically, her topic was the need to confirm Bush's then pending judicial nominees. She struck me as a capable, but in no way remarkable public speaker.
10.4.2005 10:22am
M P:
A footnote on DC Law's recollection of Miers' talk at the Fed. Soc. lunch: the main drum Miers was beating was that Priscilla Owen in particular needed to be confirmed. Owen, we were told, would make an "outstanding" jurist. Given what I've heard from people who've watched now-Judge Owen in action from close up on the 5th Circuit, I have grave doubts about the yardstick the WH Counsel's office uses for quality--especially for Friends Of George.
10.4.2005 11:04am
BigBob:
The gay rights document is meaningless. If you define "civil rights" narrowly enough, then nobody currenlty on the court would disagree with the proposition that gays deserve equal rights.

More importantly -- the document also shows that as an individaul citizen she opposed repeal of texas's homosexual conduct law, which prohibited gay sex but not straight sodomy. Making gay conduct criminal is, from the standpoint of every single gay rights organization, incompatible with the idea of equal rights. So she's no friend of the gays.

Or at least she wasn't in 1989. I suppose O'Connor, who turned out to be friendly to the gays usually, was also a gay opponent in the 80s. See e.g. Bowers.
10.4.2005 11:05am
Bill Mullins:
From the ProQuest database:

Dialing up the classroom
Miers, Harriet E, Hengstler, Gary A. ABA Journal. Chicago: Sep 1996.Vol. 82 pg. 11, 1 pgs
10.4.2005 11:17am
Justin Kee (mail):
FWIW, concerning her work for Microsoft.

http://www.slingshot.org/?p=135
10.4.2005 11:20am
Lawbot2000:
Was Miers on Law Review? Was she at the top of her class at SMU or did she only have mediocre grades?
10.4.2005 11:46am
William Spieler (mail) (www):

Southern Methodist University School of Law, Dallas, TX, 1970
J.D., Juris Doctor
Honors: Barristers, Moot Court Board, Kappa Beta Pi
LR: Comments Editor, Southwestern Law Journal, 1969 - 1970
10.4.2005 12:11pm
Bill Mullins:
A 1991 _Texas Lawyer_ article ( "State Bar Candidates Lock Horns; One Complains About an SMU Prof's Letter" BY CLARA TUMA, _Texas Lawyer_, April 15, 1991; p. 1.) indicates that she served in the City Council of Dallas:

"Miers is one of the few candidates for State Bar president-elect with prior political experience. She has served one term as an at-large member of the volatile Dallas City Council, and is not seeking re-election when her term expires this year."

Surely there are minutes of her speeches and statements there.
10.4.2005 12:23pm
Bill Mullins:
Harriet Miers, What We Have Here Is a Failure To Communicate, 56 TEX. B.J. 210 (1993).
[citation found in an end note in a Lexis article]
10.4.2005 12:32pm
David Taylor (mail):
A first look at Harriet Miers's published writings reveals that she lacks one of the most basic qualifications for sitting on the Supreme Court: superior writing ability.

Time Magazine has a link to the two articles she wrote for Texas Lawyer in 1992 and 2000. See time.com/time, at nation, article 0,8599,1112940,00.html.

The articles include the following telling excerpts:

"The same liberties that ensure a free society make the innocent vulnerable to those who prevent rights and privileges and commit senseless and cruel acts. Those precious liberties include free speech, freedom to assemble, freedom of liberties, access to public places, the right to bear arms and freedom from constant surveillance. We are not willing to sacrifice these rights because of the acts of maniacs."

[Those who prevent rights and privileges? Those precious liberties include . . . freedom of liberties?]

The two men who died exemplified individuals devoted to their God, their families, their fellow man, their communities and their profession. Speakers in both memorial services, used the very same words: "Well done, good and faithful servant." "

[Speakers in both memorial services, COMMA, used the very same words?]

"However, discerning correctly synergies from a merger and making certain they are achieved maximizes profits in the most remarkable manner. "

[Discerning correctly synergies?]

This nominee is an EMBARRASSMENT.
10.4.2005 12:36pm
ANON:
The last example (discerning...) is highly awkward, but not actually grammatically or substantially wrong, as were the other two. Read "discerning..." as a gerund phrase serving as a compound subject (along with "making...") and you have some standard-issue M.B.A. boilerplate.

However, I don't know that this defense of that sentence in any way lessens the case for your final statement.
10.4.2005 1:34pm
Greedy Clerk (mail):
The gay rights document is meaningless.
Thanks for coming out but you are dead wrong. The fact that she voluntarily filled out a form from a gay rights group in 1989 Texas IS a big deal. That she answered it the way she did is a bigger deal. Moreover, she recommended that gays be given the same adoption rights as straights on an ABA committee she chaired. What does this mean to me? She is a normal human being that is not a bigot. What does this mean to the average Republican in the South? She hates Jesus. Sorry, but that's the truth.
10.4.2005 2:20pm
Greedy Clerk (mail):
And yes this nominee is an embarassment, but this is the Bush administration --- his Supreme Court nominees seem to be following the same trend his other nominees are. 50% well-qualified, bona fide conservatives. 50% cronies who we know nothing about and should not be within ten miles of the position being appointed to. (Modern conservatism: Affirmative Action bad; Cronyism good.)
10.4.2005 2:24pm
BigBob:
Greedy Clerk - I would agree with you if the adoption document to which you refer said what you say it says. (Speaking of poor writing, that last sentence of mine could use some work.) But it turns out that Miers did not support gay adoption -- the document to which you refer, according to some new blogging, referred to proposals on which Miers' committee did not take a stand. It was a list of possibilities without recommendations.


Our conversation is interesting though, because it suggests that nobody invested in the gay rights debate will be satisfied with Miers' answers to the 1989 questionnaire. To gay rights supporters, it's unforgivable than she wanted to declare gays criminals. To religious right folk, it's unforgivable that she filled out the form in the first place and said anything vaguely supportive at all.
10.4.2005 2:32pm
Conspirator (mail):
Me thinks Bush people had GOP fired up against WH. This was to prevent left from attacking. HM is not the stleath nominee. What do you think?
10.4.2005 2:54pm
David Gonzalez (mail):

All: here is a link to D Magazine's FrontBurner blog. She has been profiled a few times in the hard copy of the magazine, and they have provided links. In addition, since she is a local, there has been a fair amount of posting about her and people's experiences with her.

Link: http://frontburner.dmagazine.com/

DPG
10.4.2005 2:58pm
Justin (mail):
Our conversation is interesting though, because it suggests that nobody invested in the gay rights debate will be satisfied with Miers' answers to the 1989 questionnaire. To gay rights supporters, it's unforgivable than she wanted to declare gays criminals. To religious right folk, it's unforgivable that she filled out the form in the first place and said anything vaguely supportive at all.

Hate the sinner, hate the sin, eh?

Honestly, what's so interesting about the bigotry of the "religious" right? Even treating gays like constituents, like human beings, seems beyond the pale, and you guys think you speak for God? Happy New Year to you too.
10.4.2005 3:58pm
BigBob:
Xcuse me? What do you mean "you guys think you speak for God"? I never identified myself as a member of any religion, nor as a member of the Right, much less the religious right. I'm a big supporter of equal rights, including equal marriage rights, for all people regardless of sexual orientation.

I was just expressing what I predicted would be a likely response among people who were religious conservatives.
10.4.2005 4:06pm
A. Friend:
This is not much of a paper trail. What we really need, of course, is for the White House to release its internal documents authored by Miers. The White House is already claiming that they are protected by "executive privilege." I guess Bush's scorn for rights "created" by "activist" judges can make an exception for the right of executive privilege.
10.4.2005 4:52pm
Shelby (mail):
Sympathetic though I am to claims of attorney-client privilege, we (or at least, the Senate, god help us) need something to go on. So far, the public record looks awfully thin. Here's hoping either the White House can be coerced into coughing up some documents, or the Senate actually takes the chance to question the nominee seriously for once.

But I won't hold my breath.
10.4.2005 5:05pm
Hofstra prof (mail):
Regarding her online Ask the White House forum: The use of the words "thanks for the kudos" within the last year of ones lifetime should be an automatic disqualifier for the Supreme Court.
10.4.2005 5:29pm
Hofstra prof (mail):
Regarding her online Ask the White House forum: The use of the words "thanks for the kudos" within the last year of ones lifetime should be an automatic disqualifier for the Supreme Court.
10.4.2005 5:29pm
Ninomaniac:
Harriet Miers (on the White House Q &A): "I appreciate all of those who wrote in today and you for being with us also." Shudder. How 'bout an average ability to express her thoughts via the written word?
10.4.2005 6:02pm
MDM (mail) (www):
To be fair, as I understand it, a lot of those chats are transcriptions of the spoken words by the "chatter" rather than Ms. Miers sitting down at a keyboard and typing. As anyone who's ever been transcribed will attest, something that sounds just fine can read leaden.
10.4.2005 6:35pm
Dmitriy:
From HeinOnline database:

Miers, Harriet E.

Mental Suffering - Texas Stands Firm - No New Tort

22 Sw. L. J. 669 (1968)
10.4.2005 11:36pm
BillyHW (mail):
You're complaining about a misplaced comma?

Lord, who then can be saved?
10.5.2005 1:59am
T H:
Miers gave the keynote speech to the American Tort Reform Association, a Philip Morris front group, in April 2005, praising the Class Action Fairness Act.

Description of speech here.
10.5.2005 11:24am